Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Opus 2019-244: Nightmares

Do you ever have nightmares?  They hit me every once in awhile.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it is bad pizza.  My nightmares seem to have a common theme over the last few years.  I find myself back in the classroom.

There are certain things that present themselves in various scenarios.  I never have a role book.  I never have any way to know the students names.  Usually there are no doors and often no walls.  I can’t find my keys. 

There are times when the students keep changing.  In some the principal will come walking in and start making demands.  I have suddenly realized that I vomited all over my clothes and I have a clean set in the car but I can’t remember where the car is.  And then I can’t remember where my room is.  I remember one time when all of the usual were in place and outside the room with no walls the rest of the school was on lunch break or something.

Sometimes I come out of it when I remember that I am retired and so this doesn’t make sense.  Sometimes I just wake up.  One of the great things about these nightmares is that in real life it is over. 

Maybe this is payback for the way I laugh every time I drive by a school that is in session.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Opus 2019-243: R.O.E.

In regard to latest terrorist shooting at Pensacola, I pick up that the guards were not armed.  In fact, like all military bases within the United States, firearms are not allowed.  This is why we had the tragedy at Fort Hood and other shootings on bases that have highly trained warriors in residence.  I am not sure what the logic is except for misplaced political correctness that has reached the level of the absurd.  Maybe it is from misplaced fear of a military coup or some such nonsense.  This is a recurring problem in our military.  You can’t protect yourself from a guy with a gun if you only have a smile.  We see the same type of thinking in our schools.

It comes down to a problem with ROE or rules of engagement.  Soldiers, marines and airmen have carefully worded rules and parameters that determine when they can respond with force and how much force is allowed.  Police have the same restraints.  Notice I said “carefully worded” not “carefully thought out”.  They are not carefully thought out.  Usually they are political statements of convenience. 

When I was in Vietnam, we were not allowed to load our rifles on guard duty.  If we were caught with rounds in the gun the best we could expect was what was called an Article 15.  This is the lowest level of court marshal.  Understand, we were in a war zone.  We were on guard duty.  We were not allowed to load our weapons.  In fact our ROE started off with calling the command bunker if we were being attacked and ask for permission to load and fire a few rounds into the air.  I remember toward the end of basic training I was assigned guard duty at an all night laundromat that had a machine that vended candy and snacks.  My orders were to keep anyone from using the machine after 10:00 at night.  That is 22:00 for you military types.  Really?  Really.  I dealt with this threat to national security by walking around the corner any time someone approached the candy machine.

Or take Iraq.  We hear a lot about the surge and how that changed everything.  It certainly helped but even more important was a change in the ROE.  Our soldiers were suddenly allowed to defend themselves.

Pensacola was a tragedy that did not need to happen.  It was terrorism by invitation.  It is the result of the forces of the progressive, anti-gun culture.  It will happen again as long as our military bases continue to be gun free zones.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Opus 2019-242: Ode to Old: Shop for Life

I have never been a great shopper.  I can do a good job on groceries and necessities, but when it is birthday time my mind goes blank.  It look at shopping as a cruel form of torture.  I need to change my thinking.  Shopping is an affirmation of life.

I find myself saying things like, “I won’t need to buy any more sox.  I have enough to last me until I die.”  Same about hats.  I have more guitars than I can play and pens coming out of my ears.  Buying more is a waste of money. 

How limiting is that?  How defeatist.  How pessimistic. 

This is a good time to put it to the test.  It should possibly effect my Christmas shopping.  I am going to make it part of my pattern to walk through stores and ask myself, “Who do I know that could use this?”  I tried it once and found a great gift for my wife for Christmas.  She may return it but it is still a great gift.

I need to learn to make sure I know where receipts are because my perfect gift may very well be nothing but a dust magnet for the recipient.

But I am looking to the future in a different way.

homo unius libri

Monday, December 9, 2019

Opus 2019-241: Election 2020: Limit Some Terms

Term limits are a two edged sword.  We would not only get rid of the trash but would throw out the baby too.  Although it would see the back side of Pelosi and Schumer it would also say goodby to Nunez and Jordan.  It is something we need to talk about and to do so without calling names.  Of course, you can say that about a lot of topics.

Keep in mind that if we pass term limits the only ones who will follow the guidelines will be the traditional conservatives.  First we will see the progressives find ways to work around them.  Have you ever heard of someone running their spouse and serving through them?  How about if the governors of California and Illinois agreed to switch places.  Remember that creativity is part of the American psyche.  Also remember the progressives will throw them out when the time is right.  They seem to be able to do this by executive order is they can’t get the votes in congress and don’t forget all the judges that are bought and paid for.

We already have term limits anyway.  It is called an election.  I often wonder how people can keep electing someone like Nadler or Waters.  How can you vote for Pelosi when you walk the streets of San Francisco?  We have at least three possible answers:  Stupidity, on the dole and voter fraud.  We already have term limits on the president and people still reelected Clinton and Obama.

The consideration of term limits is part of the sickness of our society.  We want someone else to pull the weight so we can party on.  Instead of paying attention and holding elected leaders accountable we want a law to take care of it for us.  People want the congressman who brings home the bacon to their district.  It is the other guys who need to be thrown out.  Or take the parent who wants the schools to raise their children because they want to be buddies instead of mothers and fathers.  Republicans like to protest things like voter fraud but when are they going to do something about it?  They enjoy the fruits to much to chop down the tree.

When someone else does the heavy lifting we can claim innocense and join the condemnation of those evil people.  Thus we have people who enjoy the benefits of our liberty and security but want to attack the soldiers who stand as a bulwark.  We complain about people using EBT cards at fast food joints and expect the government to keep raising the benefits of Medicare. 

Each of us needs to accept the burden of limiting terms.  We need to get serious about watching the people in positions of power.  We need to write down their failures if our memory will not cooperate.  And then we need to get busy using the liberties we still have.

2020 is coming.  Vote the suckers out.  If enough people vote then their cheating won’t work.

homo unius libri

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Opus 2019-240: Baby Talk: Determining the Nature of the Falling Nut

Children are born.  Adults are made.

It may be that some children automatically become readers.  That has not been the case with our granddaughter.  Of course she is still a toddler but personalities develop early.  She would rather run around the couch than sit with a book.

My daughter is working on that and is planting the seeds.  She lets the toddler run but there are times when she restrains the baby until she calms down enough to look at the book being read.  It isn’t easy.  It takes time.  It reflects a commitment to a goal.  In time the habit is established and we see an increase in times when the child will pick up a book and look through it.  Will she become a reader?  I don’t know.  Some people just don’t like to read.  They would rather go out and turn a tree into a cabinet than read a book about trees.  Still, the seeds need to be planted to keep the options open.

Why do children turn out the way they do?  We often talk of heredity and environment.  What the modern culture ignores is free will, choices.  It goes beyond the choices of the child.  Parents make choices in how they spend their time.  Often the key question is, excuse the word, selfish or sacrifice.  It is much easier to plop the kid in front of an electronic device so you can do your nails than to engage them and help them to grow.

Even the best, progressive day care cannot make up for the attention of a mother.  We always laugh when some official child education organization publishes something as a great tool of learning and it is something that mothers have been doing for centuries.  Grandmothers could have written the books but they don’t have Ph.D. behind their name or government funding.

I realize it is easy to judge and my point is not to condemn single parents who are doing the best they can but they need to realize that when they have a choice it will have consequences.  We were surrounded by mothers and fathers making those kinds of sacrifices and the results we see are gratifying. 

homo unius libri

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Opus 2019-239: Pandora’s Hit List

My daughter has the Pandora ap working in the living room.  It is on a Christmas channel and I am hearing songs I had never heard before.  After listening once I can see why.  The great voice of Bing Crosby recorded a lot more than White Christmas.  The blessing is that most of the songs died a natural death. 

As I was feeding the toddler and listening to the music my mind went on a tangent.  It isn’t that I don’t enjoy a conversation in which one side consists of empty shrieks and nonsense syllables.  I have had conversation with progressives and survived without violence.  It isn’t that I don’t enjoy making faces and acting excited when she gets the spoon in her mouth without dumping the oatmeal in her lap.  There are situations though that make it possible for even this male mind to multi-task.

I was giving 3/4 of my mind to listening to the words and I realized that the non-hits of Bing Crosby have a lot in common with the majority of modern secular Christmas music.  One thing I noticed is that you could take the word Christmas that is inserted on some kind of ratio and replace it with another word, say Tuesday, and the song would have just as much meaning and staying power as it does as a Christmas song.  I recently enjoyed an old post by the Babylon Bee that has the exchange going the opposite way as Justin Bieber replaces “baby” with “Jesus”.

Most modern Christmas songs reject any possible reference to the real catalyst for Christmas and become expressions of a desire to express themselves sexually.  In modern productions you hear about the breaking of a heart instead of the breaking of the power of sin.  The result desired is a one night stand as opposed to the eternal relationship promised by Christmas. 

I am a supporter of free enterprise so I have no problem with everyone who has every recorded a song producing a Christmas album filled with gruel.  I do have a problem with it being the only stuff that seems to be broadcast any more.  I like White Christmas and Jinglebell Rock but they are simply enjoyable, not meaningful.  They do not change the world and did not establish the season.

Merry Christmas and long live redeeming Christmas music.

homo unius libri

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Opus 2019-238: Baby Talk: Conversations

It is great having my daughter and granddaughter staying with us.  There are down sides though.  One of those is the topics of conversation.

I just finished a discussion of baby turds.  It was like a mystery of who-done-it.  We were trying to figure out why the consistency of the feces was different this morning.  Was it the diet?  Was it teething?  Is she sick?  Has she been watching CNN?

At the time these topics are of interest.  I am not sure that I would want a chapter in my biography to spend much time on them.  We have discussed why car seats are hard to adjust.  Why do babies like to run around naked?  How long were the naps for the last week?  Why does she pick their nose, on both sides at once? 

In those times when there is little to discuss there is always time to chase a toddler around the house and wonder where they get their energy.

Where will I get my energy?

homo unius libri